Friday, November 8, 2013

Mendel Beilis -- Not One Charge, Two!

This is the summary of the 31th day of the Mendel Beilis trial, which occurred on 25 October, 1913 on the Julian calendar, 7 November, 1913 on the Gregorian calendar.

This day occupies pages 111 through 177 of Volume III of the transcript.
See the translation of the transcript for day 31. 

Shmakov refers to the closed door conference on day 28 as something that the jury attended.  I believed when I translated that material, that the conference was a consequence of Pranaitis’ attempts to discuss his false claim that Talmud refers to Jesus, since the judge threatened to go behind closed doors if Pranaitis persisted.  Shmakov confirms this conjecture today when he refers to “blasphemy.”  This was the charge made by the 1554 bull which censored Talmud and resulted in using the term “Shas” to refer to it.

Shmakov claims that Kokovtsov and Troitsky could not deny the blasphemy charges, but the quality of his logic throughout this speech is not such as to support that claim.  They could not deny that this was charged in the 1554 papal bull, but they could argue correctly that since the citations don’t refer to Jesus, no blasphemy could have occurred. 

Shmakov proves today that he is incapable of understanding the arguments on scripture through a nonsense statement he makes.  Shortly thereafter Shmakov admits that Pranaitis performed badly in the conference.

So the events of day 28 probably included the government side of the case admitting in private, during the recess after the conference, that the scriptural part of the testimony was in a shambles.  To try to counter this,  Shmakov brought Pranaitis back and that is when he was laughed out of court. 

Within a day Vipper made his admission that Russian law does not criminalize religious fanaticism. 

Within a day of that, Shmakov made his telling remark that you don’t change the charges from one day to the next, still less within a period of half an hour. 
Today, near the end of the speech, Shmakov reveals that the jurors will receive two questions to answer. 
The whole thing has been cooked up in the last 60 hours, and the text of the new charges either telegraphed or sent in hardcopy by express train; the trip from St. Petersburg to Kiev takes 24 hours nowadays.  Unless it was in the files the whole time.

Maklakov makes an excellent speech about the government abuse of Andrey’s family and the witnesses, and the illogic in the prosecution claims.

Gruzenberg opens up like the shaliach tsibur, the emissary of the congregation, at the start of the Kol Nidre prayer on Yom Kippur, approaching the Heavenly Court worrying that it will not listen to him when he tries to get it to avert the severe decree, and goes on to a litany of why Beilis is suffering that reads like the Al Chet She Chatanu litany of sins also used on Yom Kippur.  Remember, the day that the trial started WAS right before Yom Kippur in 1913.  The day Gruzenberg is speaking is two weeks after the end of Sukkot, when the Heavenly Gates close and people have to live with the decree handed down.  Then he rips the Cheberyaks to shreds and points out that Zamyslovsky could not give a complete summation because if he had, he would have contradicted both Kosorotov and Vipper.

To "Vipper loses his mind"
Judge:  Fyodor Boldyrev                                                                                    

            Criminal Prosecutor, Oscar Vipper
            Civil Prosecutor Georgy Zamyslovsky
            Private Civil Prosecutor Aleksey Shmakov 

            Oscar Gruzenberg
Nikolay Karabchevsky
Dmitry Grigorevich-Barsky
Alexandr Zarudny
Vasily Maklakov

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved


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